A 5-year-old girl who was bullied in China for her natural afro hair has sparked an online debate regarding the nation’s beauty standards.
The girl, surnamed Sun, was born with afro-textured hair in Shandong province. When she started kindergarten, she was bullied due to her appearance and given the nickname “Explosive Hair” by her classmates, according to South China Morning Post.
“She told us many of her schoolmates made fun of her ‘explosive’ hairstyle,” Sun’s mother told the Metropolis Daily.
Sun, who never complained about her hair prior to attending school, said she did not want to go back to school, according to her mother, who had witnessed her suffer from negative comments.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“When I take her out to play, people often come to ask whether my daughter’s hair is curled or if she is wearing a wig,” the mother said. “Some people want to touch her hair.”
Sun’s parents and auntie would style her hair in braids in hopes that she would not stand out from other Chinese children. They also plan to bring her to a salon to straighten her hair once it grows longer.
“As long as it won’t affect her life, I will try anything for her,” Sun’s mother said.
A video of the five-year-old has gone viral on Weibo. Viewers condemned the bullying over Sun’s hair and debated over the standards of beauty in China, with many users encouraging Sun to appreciate the natural beauty of her hair.
“I hope the reason you want to change your hairstyle is because you want to do it, rather than being afraid of what others think of you,” one user reportedly wrote.
“It’s a gift. She will realize it when she grows up,” another user commented.